Super Smash Bros. series director Masahiro Sakurai has revealed that it takes a lot of time and effort to build a character roster for each Super Smash Bros. game. Speaking with Polygon, the director said it’s extremely stressful designing the game’s roster, because there are numerous factors that need to be considered. According to Sakurai, selecting which characters make the cut isn’t all about preference. The designers have to think about the game’s balance, animation, graphics and sound when deciding who to keep and who to add to the Super Smash Bros. roster.
“The amount of stress I feel, it’s almost to the brink of death,” Sakurai said of designing Smash Bros.’s character roster. “Because it’s not just a matter of me personally thinking this character or that character is going to be in the game; it’s that we also have the game balance, animation, graphics and sound to think about in order to make that character fully fleshed out in that universe. I have to think about all of that when I go through this decision-making process.
“Whether it’s a minor character or a character that is one of the most highly skilled and most played, if that character is removed from the game, the people who live for that character in Smash Bros. are going to have their feelings hurt.
“I think we have to really consider that, so I take a very serious, hard look at that and have empathy for the players who look for these type of characters when we’re making these decisions.”
The next Super Smash Bros. games are being developed for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, and they are scheduled to launch in 2014.